November 5, 2008

Teachers-In-Training Make A Difference To Young Children In Need

Fifteen recent college graduates dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young children have been accepted into the 2008-2010 class of Pearson Teacher Fellows, working with Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization, to teach preschool in low-income communities across America. The announcement was made today at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference.

The Pearson Teacher Fellowship gives high caliber college graduates the professional, financial, and peer support they need to become exceptional preschool teachers. By providing rigorous training and ongoing guidance and support, the Pearson Teacher Fellowship ensures that talented individuals are poised for success in the preschool teaching profession. This year's class of Fellows will begin their teaching careers at preschools in 13 cities across seven states.

The Pearson Teacher Fellowship was created through a unique partnership between Jumpstart and Pearson to help passionate and dedicated individuals continue their efforts in achieving Jumpstart's mission of working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.

Thirty-five percent of American kindergarten children enter school unprepared to learn, and five-year-olds from low-income communities have one-fourth the vocabulary of their mid-income peers. These and other statistics illustrate the direct correlation between poverty and a lack of school readiness and underscore the need for quality teachers in early education. The Pearson Teacher Fellowship works in conjunction with Jumpstart's core program, which pairs caring adults one-to-one with at-risk preschool children to strengthen each child's language, literacy, and social development.

"Early childhood education should excite curiosity, stimulate creativity, encourage the development of problem-solving skills, create and expand cognitive, language, and motor skills, and help children better understand the world in which they live," notes Teacher Fellow Lucille Muro.

Pearson Teacher Fellows commit to teach preschoolers in Head Start and other early learning centers serving low income communities for two years. Jumpstart and Pearson are committed to not only supporting Fellows in preschools, but also to ensure their ongoing success in the early childhood teaching field. By supporting new teachers in their quest to help young students realize their full academic potential, the Pearson Teacher Fellowship furthers Jumpstart's mission, provides more teachers for the field of early childhood education, expands the number of children reached by a well-trained, college-educated adults, and offers invaluable experience to the Fellows.

"To date, The Pearson Teacher Fellowship has helped more than 170 talented college graduates become pre-school teachers in underserved areas across the country," said Mark Nieker, President, Pearson Foundation. "Jumpstart and Pearson share a passion for education and inspiring people to reach their full potential, which is at the heart of the Teacher Fellowship program."

"Through our partnership with Pearson, we are able to inspire new generations of teachers to commit to a lifetime of service," said Jumpstart President, James Cleveland. "The Pearson Teacher Fellowship serves as an amazing opportunity for these dedicated individuals to get their careers in early education teaching off to the right start."


On the Net: